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Still Giving Love a Bad Name

Every Bon Jovi album ranked, from worst to best

MUSIC

@zzzzaaaacccchhh

GLAM, BLAM, THANK YOU, MA’AM Original members Sambora, drummer Tico Torres, Bon Jovi, bassist Alec John Such and keyboard player David Bryan in 1984.
KOH HASEBE/SHINKO MUSIC/GETTY

“IT’S ABOUT TIME,” JON BON JOVI said as his band was inducted— finally—into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April.

He has a point. If the rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey, formed in 1983, were a person, it would be old enough to run for president. No other artifact from the hair-metal era has shown the same persistence. If you’re a Bon Jovi fan, such astonishing longevity is a gift that makes its disciples happy and its singer very rich. And if you hate Bon Jovi—well, you ought to give the band some credit for pissing you off for this many years.

Bon Jovi’s bottomless appetite for crunchy riffs and lovestruck ballads has been documented on 13 studio albums. Frontman Jon Bon Jovi’s gravelly voice and knack for soaring, arena-ready hooks, coupled with reliably bombastic pop-metal riffs, made the band an indelible hit machine. Sometimes derided as the poor man’s Springsteen because of its shared Jersey roots, Bon Jovi deserves respect (no, really!) for combining the Boss’s working-dude appeal with hard-rock sleaze and managing to evolve and endure. When Jon says he’s “seen a million faces and rocked them all,” it’s technically an understatement.

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For years, he’s been seen as a naïf or a MADMAN. But what if KIM JONG UN is the smartest guy in the room?